Transfer and Sub-Letting

Transfer or sub-letting with landlord’s consent

With the landlord’s written consent, you can:

  • Transfer your tenancy under a residential tenancy agreement to another person, or
  • Sub-let the premises (or part) to another person.

The landlord must not unreasonably withhold consent when:

  • You propose to transfer your tenancy and one of the original tenants under the current tenancy agreement will remain as a tenant, or
  • You propose to sub-let to another person and you will remain in occupation of the premises.

The landlord must not charge for giving consent other than for the reasonable expenses of giving consent.

Landlord may withhold consent

  • The landlord may reasonably withhold consent if, for example:
  • The number of proposed occupants is more than permitted by the tenancy agreement or planning laws
  • The proposed tenant or sub-tenant is listed on a tenant database (see Tenant Databases)
  • The landlord is reasonably of the opinion that the transfer or sub-letting would result in the premises being overcrowded.

If the proposed transfer or sub-letting is for the whole tenancy or the whole premises, the landlord is entitled to withhold consent – whether or not it is reasonable.

Asking consent to transfer/sub-let

Write to the landlord asking for their consent to transfer or sub-let. Provide them with a draft transfer or sub-letting document in which you specify by
name the proposed tenant or sub-tenant (see the examples below).

Enclose evidence that the proposed tenant/subtenant:

  • Can pay the rent (e.g. a copy of a payslip or statement from Centrelink)
  • Is of good character (e.g. a reference from a former landlord or a personal reference).

Ask the landlord to sign and return the consent document to you.

If the landlord unreasonably withholds consent

You can apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) for an order allowing you to transfer (or sub-let). The CTTT will decide if the landlord’s
failure to consent is reasonable.

You must apply to the CTTT within 3 months of becoming aware that the landlord has withheld consent – do not delay.

See Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

Written tenancy agreement

Having a written tenancy agreement in the interest of both parties:
The rules are clear – residential tenancies legislation will apply
The CTTT is available to resolve disputes.

Rights and obligations

Upon transferring your tenancy to another person and vacating the premises, your legal liability for the tenancy ends.

A tenant who rents part of the premises to another person under a separate written tenancy agreement is a head-tenant. They have the rights and obligations
of a landlord in relation to the other person. For information about your rights and obligations as a head-tenant, contact NSW Fair Trading (phone 133 220, or LawAccess NSW (phone 1300 888 529).

The person who rents part of the premises from a head-tenant under a written tenancy agreement is a sub-tenant. They have the rights and obligations of
a tenant in relation to the head-tenant, who is their landlord.

Bond money

Also see Bond.

You can change the names of the tenants registered for the bond by using a ‘Change of Shared Tenancy Arrangement’ form (from NSW Fair Trading – NSWFT). Have it signed by the outgoing and incoming tenants and the landlord/agent and return it to NSWFT.

If it is agreed that the sub-tenant will pay a bond, the head-tenant must:

  • Give the sub-tenant a receipt on payment
  • Deposit the money with NSWFT within 10 working days (unless the bond is paid instalments – contact NSWFT for more information about this).

The most bond that a sub-tenant can be required to pay is an amount equal to 4 weeks of their rent.

January 2011


I/We (the transferor/s) hereby transfer all of my/our rights and obligations under the residential tenancy agreement as tenant/s of the premises to the
transferee/s from the transfer date.

The other tenant/s consent/s to this transfer and acknowledge the transferee/s as tenant/s from the transfer date.

The landlord/s consent/s to this transfer and acknowledges the transferee/s as tenant/s from the transfer date.

Agreement (include the following details from the existing residential tenancy agreement:)
Landlord/s                                                        (name/s)
Total rent                                                          ($ per week)
Commencement date                                       (day, month, year)
Term                                                                 (years/months/weeks)
Transfer date                                                    (day, month, year)
Transferor/s                                                      (name/s, sign & date)
Transferee/s                                                     (name/s, sign & date)
Other tenant/s                                                  (name/s, sign & date)
Landlord/s(or agent)                                        (name/s, sign & date)

The standard terms of residential tenancy in New South Wales are implied by law. They may be
viewed at: subordleg+664+2010+cd+0+N

Agreement to sub-let

I,                                                         (head-tenant’s name)
agree to rent room                             (describe which room)
at                                                        (address)
to                                                        (sub-tenant’s name)
and share the common areas cooperatively (bathroom, kitchen, laundry, living room, dining room, yard, parking etc.)
for $                               per week     (rent)
from                                                   (start date)
to                                                       (end date – optional)
Bond paid in full
$                                                        (bond amount – if applicable)
Head-tenant                                      (name, sign & date)
Witness                                              (name, sign & date)
Sub-tenant                                         (name, sign & date)
Witness                                              (name, sign & date)
I consent to the above sub-letting:
Landlord/agent                                  (sign & date)
Witness                                              (sign & date)

The standard terms of residential tenancy in New South Wales are implied by law. They may be viewed at: